Saturday 5 May 2007

"Grindhouse"... A Preemptive Quibble.

Tarantino and Rodriguez's "Grindhouse" Official Poster: Meh.

Ok. We should all be already aware of "Grindhouse", Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez's lusty homage to the B-film schlock that helped inspire them so. Zombies, motorcycle gangs, big guns, and bigger breasts... Cheaply made and cheaply exploitative pyrotechnic nonsense, but dammit if it wasn't a helluva lot of fun. And this directoring duo wish it to be once more. They offer up unto their audiences their ultimate B-movie experience, loaded with visceral intensity and inevitable directorial flair. Hell, it is even a double bill feature; Tarantino's "Death Proof" and Rodriguez's "Planet Terror". Oh, the novel self-reflexivity of it all.

However, Tarantino and Rodriguez seem to have missed a serious point in terms of this blatant homage business. "Grindhouse"'s budget was $53 million dollars. Its production lasted in excess of 18 months. Its cast, a reservoir of A-listers. Bruce Willis, Kurt Russel, Nicholas Cage, to name but a trio.

Roger Corman would drown in a pool of his homemade puke effects. $53 million? $53,000 might be more appropriate. Two years? Try a fortnight. These were the budgets and schedules of the B-movies that Tarantino et al ape here with such grotesque reverence. They were made quickly, to be distributed quickly, to make as quick a buck as possible. Producers and directors operated within the dregs of genre trash, and were fully aware of this. Classics did rise up from this formulaic quagmire, but it still happened on the cheap. Intelligence and wit were the weapons of George A Romero. Can anyone name his little known zombie trilogy? Anyone?

This is not to say that "Grindhouse" will not prove to be effective entertainment. (It of course yet to be released in Ireland). It just rankles with this blogger that two informed cineastes such as Tarantino and Rodgriguez should be so self-indulgent, whatever the end result. "Grindhouse" is a grand guignol of budget. A $53m exercise in fanboy essayism. A vanity project perhaps more suited to Harvey Weinstein's Miramax than brother Bob's Dimension. Maybe Quentin and Robert would have been better off getting a few beers, a few smokes and going for a rummage through the 7 for $15 in their local Blockbuster...

Apologies for the cynicism, but $53m to ostensibly remake your favourite films. Seems wasteful does it not?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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